The Phoenix Coyotes are a team that have earned the label as a low scoring trap team by many people’s standards. However, there is more than what meets the eye when it comes to the Coyotes.
Looking at the standings right now before they take on the Wild, they sit 9th with 21 points. What is surprising to some though may be that they have 54 goals for and 51 against them. This is good enough to be tied for 5th in the Western conference in terms of goals scored. Overall in the league they sit at about 11th place. For a team that has the reputation for scoring rarely and suffocating the other team to win, that’s pretty good. The Yotes have a plenty of goal scoring depth in their lineup and have been capitalizing on this fact.
The more surprising statistic to me, however, is that the Yotes have also given up 51 goals against. This puts them at about the same standing in the league at 11th. They are a defense oriented team of course, but sitting mid pack for goals against is indicative of their inconsistent play this season. This stat may have looked a lot different if the blowout losses to Chicago and other were just normal losses. However, you earn the stats you get.
I didn’t get a chance to blog about the victory over the Canucks on Tuesday night. The Coyotes did a great job of rebounding from their two recent losses. They came out flying in the early going and Cory Schneider was the only reason Vancouver was able to stay tied after the opening flurry. He really made some good saves. After the opening pressure, the game was more even throughout, but the Yotes capitalized on their chances and had some solid fourth line play push them over the top. They still seem to have a problem relaxing after getting a goal or two goal lead. Hopefully, they continue to correct this bad habit and learn to play all out for the whole game.
Looking forward to the Minnesota Wild game… The Yotes will get back Morris on their defense but will do without Hanzal and Vrbata for another game. Obviously it’s good news to get Morris back at this time. He has played well for the Yotes this season and his willingness to shoot the puck and back up Yandle really adds to the team. Both teams are very close in the standings and will want to end this game in regulation for obvious reasons. Both teams also have a similar streak of play going into tonight as well. Last meeting between the two, the game was won by the Coyotes 2-1 on goals from Korpikoski and Hanzal. I expect a similar game this time, as both teams are evenly matched for the most part. I have no predictions for the winner… only that the team that scores first is going to most likely pull this one out.
I will provide a post game blog as well. If anyone has any advice or ideas for blogs I would love to hear them. Happy Hockey everyone!